Renovations can make or break a fix and flip property, and they can also draw in good buyers for a successful real estate transaction. As a fix and flip investor, it is essential to focus on renovating the spaces that will bring the most resale value to a property when reselling. Certain renovations will help investors attract buyers while simultaneously enabling them to set a higher asking price for the home.
The money put into the rehab can be recouped if the right types of renovations are done – but investors should bear in mind that some will have no impact at all and should be avoided. This should motivate investors to further research what renovations increase home value the most, and what buyers are looking to get from homes in the current market. Renovation trends may change from year to year but certain projects will always remain popular with buyers.
By following the suggestions laid out below, investors can set a higher asking price for their properties and ensure they will be able to sell them when the time comes. These are the spaces investors should choose to renovate to increase home value.
List of Renovations That Add Value to Your Home
When you’re looking at renovations to increase home value, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to do everything you can. However, this isn’t always the most budget-friendly method. So, if you’d like to focus on the renovations that add the largest resale value, we’ll outline the top 5 below.
1. Create a home office
Home offices have become a vital part of many prospective home buyers’ decision making these days, as the work-from-home culture grows. So, creating a home office space is an important part of raising the resale value of your home. In fact, the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) indicates that over 70% of buyers are looking for a home office or exercise room that is bigger than a 100 square foot size.
This means that you could convert a spare room, an unused closet or pantry, or another space into a home office easily. It simply needs to be a quiet, private area where a desk and chair can fit comfortably, and you can fit it with your home’s décor.
2. New garage door
By replacing your garage door with a new, better looking one, you can recoup over 90% of your costs when it comes time to sell the property. A new garage not only adds to a home’s curb appeal, it also one of the easiest remodeling projects to do.
3. Minor kitchen remodel
As the saying goes, the kitchen is the heart of the home. When it comes to adding value to your home then, you can’t go wrong with upgrading your kitchen. If your budget is tight, you can focus on a few smaller projects to give the kitchen a facelift. Either way, a kitchen remodel will most definitely add value to your home.
According to the NAHB, a walk-in pantry or double sink in the kitchen rank highly for 81% of buyers. Extra storage space, counter space and flexible refrigeration and pantry options are popular requirements amongst prospective home buyers these days. Which means that kitchen upgrades are going to be a worthwhile exercise for adding extra value for your home.
4. Amplifying outdoor space
Expanding your outdoor living space has been a good value-add for homes for many years, however the appeal has increased even more based on the fact that people are staying at home more. Adding a swimming pool, deck or hot tub, is now a big way to add value to a home. You may not recoup all your costs, but you will make your home more appealing to buyers and therefore add value.
5. Window upgrades
Replacing the window frames in a home recoup over 60% of the cost and add significant resale value to your home at a cost that isn’t exorbitant. Using vinyl or wood, you could spruce up the inside and outside of your home and give it a new look. There is quite a cost difference between materials so make sure to price each carefully before you choose.
List of Renovations That Do Not Add Value to Your Home
When you’re deciding which projects to undertake during your home renovation, there are a few that you should be aware of. These will not add value to your home and will simply cost you money without much hope of recouping it during the sale of the house.
- Expensive fixtures
While it’s easy to caught up with purchasing luxury fixtures and hardware, the likelihood of making your money back on those on little to nothing. Most homebuyers won’t notice the expensive fixtures, and they could easily go to waste. The overall impact is what you’re looking to achieve, and small details don’t need to cost an arm and a leg.
- Taking out bathtubs
While large walk-in showers remain a popular choice for homebuyers, this doesn’t mean that bathtubs are no longer needed. People with kids, for example, may need a bathtub, so there is still a market for these. The demographics of the neighborhood play a big part in the upgrades you’ll need to make on your home, and this is one of the areas to consider.
- DIY home improvements
According to real estate experts, doing DIY home improvements is not likely to increase home value significantly. Invariably these projects cost more than expected, and the craftsmanship will need to be extremely professional for a buyer not to notice, or for it to add any value to the house.
- Converting a garage
While it may be tempting to convert a garage into a different space such as a home office, this isn’t the best idea for recouping what you spend and adding value to the house. A project like this can cost in the region of $10,000 and yield little to no return. Buyers generally prefer a garage to an extra living area, either for housing their cars or for storage. At the very least, they usually want to option of being able to use the garage or not, instead of being forced to keep cars outside.
Choosing The Right Renovations to Increase Home Value
The challenge in doing a home renovation is that many improvement projects will not add tangible value to the property for the investor and cause them to take on unnecessary expenses that won’t help them set a higher asking price. Some “improvements” can even detract from the overall desirability of the property when selling and scare off buyers, which investors want to avoid at all costs. The investor should aim to keep to the style of the neighborhood when selecting renovation projects to take on., particularly if the property is part of an HOA (Home Owners Association). HOA’s will commonly have strict rules for homes in the neighborhood surrounding appearance.
The question then remains, which renovation projects are worth investing in and will it be worth the cost when it comes to the time of sale? One of the most important deciding factors in this question will be what type of buyer is most common in the area the property is located. A buyer with a family will have different needs to a buyer who is a student – therefore buyer demographics should be factored in when home renovations are being planned. Knowing this demographic will also give investors a clue as to which trends will be valuable to implement.
It’s important to bear in mind that investors should not spend more on renovations than the property is really worth. Less experienced investors will easily overspend on renovation projects and go all out in an attempt to ensure the property will be sold as soon as possible. This is an easy way to sink the project before it ever hits the market.
Start With The Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most prominently featured rooms in a home, making it the prime space to start with any property renovations. The National Association of Realtors has consistently ranked a well-designed kitchen remodel as the best home upgrade project for increasing value, and kitchens are one of the rooms buyers will consider most seriously prior to putting in an offer.
Estimates show that investors making renovations to kitchens can recoup between 60 and 120% of their investment upon selling depending on the heat of the local market and how successfully the project was designed and completed.
However, it is essential that the kitchen is redone in the same style as the rest of the property, to avoid it feeling disjointed. A smaller, older character home will not match well with a hyper-modern, enormous kitchen, and buyers will immediately take notice of the mismatch. Investors should always aim to make their flip properties feel cohesive as these are more likely to sell well.
The costs of kitchen remodels can vary, depending on the scale of the renovations needed and the investor’s budget. It’s not always necessary to rip out cabinets and redo the whole space from scratch – sometimes smaller changes can be more impactful. The average kitchen remodel cost for smaller projects range between $10,000 and $15,000, while larger remodels can cost up to an average of $25,000.
The cheapest way to make big changes to the kitchen space is through color. Paint is relatively affordable, and can effectively renew the space for minimal expense and effort. Change the color of cabinets, give the walls a refreshing look and make sure the space is thoroughly cleaned. This will go a long way towards making the kitchen feel like a completely redone room. Other affordable changes like redoing cabinet handles or changing the lighting in the room can be done to take this renovation even further.
An Additional Bathroom
If the investor’s property only has one bathroom, adding a second one could significantly raise the property’s value. Investors should heavily consider whether there are extra rooms or other underutilized spaces that could become extra bathrooms. These spaces could be closets, spaces underneath staircases or even lofts. For a half-bath, a minimum of 18 square feet is recommended. The cost of this type of renovation will largely depend on the design, cost of materials and accessories the investor plans to use.
This isn’t necessarily a fast or cheap project, but with bathroom renovations, investors are guaranteed to recoup the cost especially when depending on neutral palettes and fixtures. Expert estimates show that investors can make back up to 75% of the remodeling costs when adding a full bathroom to their property. On average, bathroom remodels can cost anywhere between $9,000 and $11,000 for lower-end projects and up to double that for higher-end ones.
There are many ways to save on a bathroom remodel – investors may not be able to change the original tiling in the room, but they can paint the tiles, install new fixtures and again make changes to the lighting to transform the room.
Lighting in a property is very important, as it can significantly change how a room is perceived by potential buyers by making it look bigger. If there is little natural light in your property, and you’re not willing to install new windows, try installing modern lights with warmer hues instead – particularly around the vanity or bathroom mirror.
Add An Extra Bedroom
An extra bedroom can add $30,000 to $50,000 to the potential resale value of a house but bear in mind that this depends on the neighborhood and the value of the house before the addition. Extra space is usually a plus for people who are buying a home, and so it stands to reason that extra space will add value to a house in a home remodel.
Before you decide to go ahead with this, make sure to run it by the HOA and check if there are any plans or permits needed for the addition. Converting a different space in your home, like a loft or basement, into a bedroom is a good option, however the more construction that needs to be done, the higher the price. If you’re converting a room into a bedroom, make sure to check the layout, the ceiling, and the bathroom access or whether there’s space for an en-suite bathroom.
Create Extra Living Space
Extra living space is generally a good option for creating a home that’s more functional and offers a better living situation. To figure out what kind of space to create, you can make a list of the all the rooms in your home, figure out which rooms you use the most and then which rooms you’d like. This can save you having to build a new space, and instead you could repurpose an existing space that you don’t use often instead of doing major remodeling projects.
When you’re reconfiguring your existing space to incorporate more living space, take a look at expanding the ground floor first. You could enclose a patio, convert a front porch or use the attic or basement spaces. If you need to build, you could look at creating a room above the garage or extending your ground floor in a way that fits the design of the home.
There are a variety of tips to use for creating extra living spaces without needing to build an extra area or even enclose anything. For example, extending a kitchen counter and putting chairs around it to create an eating area. This creates an extra living space without the need for major construction or additional rooms.
Adding Loft Spaces
When looking for additional space to build a bathroom or other room in, investors should consider making use of their loft spaces if they have them. A loft conversion can increase the floor space in a property by as much as 30%, and in some cases, this can be enough to add an additional room with an en-suite half-bath. In this situation, it is key that the pitch of the roof is high enough to allow ample headroom. Experts suggest that lofts should be 7-8 feet and have a pitch of over 30 degrees if they are to be suitable for this type of conversion.
The key with loft conversions is to have them feel like a natural extension of the existing home, and that they are designed to match the feel of the rest of the rooms in the property.
Investors planning on building up and renovating lofts should also consult with a structural engineer to ensure that the building and floor joists can support the weight of these upgrades. These rules also apply to other extensions built onto the home even on the ground floor level, although the costs for these will differ.
Loft conversions are on the more expensive side of home renovation projects, with the average one costing investors upward of $19,000 to complete. However, it’s also a project with a consistently high ROI, and the additional space will be a big draw to buyers. Investors can recoup over 60% of the cost of a loft conversion by the time they sell the property.
Decks and Outdoor Spaces
Decks and outdoor spaces are becoming more trendy as of late and can really upgrade the outside appeal of a property and bring extra value to the home. Estimates show that when adding a deck to their property, investors can expect to recoup at least 80% of the cost at the time of final sale.
If investors choose to do this upgrade, they should take some time to plan what they would like to include and think about which materials will be used. Some outdoor entertainment spaces like decks have additional seating space or fire pits which can be highly desirable to buyers.
When installing a deck, higher-grade materials will give longevity, but wooden decks are more cost-effective. The key here is to provide a space that adds function and livability. Buyers with families are especially likely to look for properties that offer great outdoor spaces such as these.
There are some important things to know before taking on this renovation project. Investors will need to take the local weather into account, as this will have a big impact on the materials used to build the deck and how long they will last. It’s also important to note that some states require you to have a building permit for this type of addition if it exceeds a certain size, so be sure to find out exactly which regulations would apply. The average cost of a deck installation comes to $4,300 to $10,000 depending on the materials being used and the overall size.
Create Office Areas
With the major shift to a work-from-home way of life, home offices are sought after. Creating a home office doesn’t need to be a mammoth task and it also doesn’t need to break the bank. Find a corner of the home with optimal light and noise levels, where you can get privacy and enough room for a desk and chair, and you’ve got yourself a home office.
If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, you can consider turning your attic, shed, basement or space under the stairs into an office area. While you may not be able to envision these spaces working as a home office, an interior designer could help you create a workspace that functions perfectly in one of these areas.
When choosing an area of the house to create an office, bear in mind the job that you do and what type of space you’ll need. For example, if you have a lot of meetings, you’ll need a space that’s quieter and well lit.
While home design trends come and go, certain renovations will always be popular with buyers and make the investor’s property more sought after when it goes on the market. Kitchens and bathrooms, in particular, are key spaces to consider renovating when taking on a fix and flip project and will have a tangible effect on the value. Additional spaces like loft conversions or outdoor entertainment areas like a deck or fire pit have become favored again, can expand the property significantly and investors can recoup a lot of their expenses on these projects when finally selling the home.
It’s essential to choose renovation projects carefully so that they feel cohesive with the rest of the property, and the general neighborhood. These home renovations don’t need to be expensive, and there are many ways investors can achieve the wanted results affordably by thinking outside of the box. At the end of the day, the investor should always keep their focus on increasing the value of their investment.
If you’re still new to the property flipping game, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that most renovation expenses and home repairs are tax deductible, provided you incur those expenses through your house flipping business. This post has a full list of expenses you can deduct when flipping a house.